Sunday Loot: Breaking Down Barriers in Games Culture

[Art by Leisha Riddel.]
[Art by Leisha Riddel.]
Happy Sunday, friends! We hope this message finds you well today, and that you’re ready for another round of projects breaking down barriers in the industry. Whether you’re looking to get directly involved in the positive shift happening all around us, or you’re more comfortable following along with the efforts of others, we have a wide range of opportunities for everyone. There’s never been a better time to be a gamer than right now!

So, what have we gathered to show you today? We’re glad you asked! From a new, exciting event set to shake the main stage to projects pushing for more diversity to tutorials tailor-made to suit every skill level, this is your time to shine. All of the initiatives here today want to welcome you to join their cause. Don’t forget to boost their work and follow along as it grows!

As always, if you know of an inclusive gaming space or games project you’d love to see promoted on our Sunday Loot series, drop us a comment below or check out our contact list! We’d love to hear from you, especially about new and exciting spaces where all gamers can hang out. ✌

Game Devs of Color Expo

Game Devs of Color Expo

Brought to you by the Brooklyn Gamery, the 2016 Game Devs of Color Expo is an utterly necessary and groundbreaking event created to feature the work of those who are marginalized in this industry. The event will take place in the heart of Times Square, NYC on Saturday, January 16, 2016, and tickets are a mere $5, though free admission is available to those who would not otherwise be able to attend. There’s even an explicit anti-harassment policy, along with a pitch that would inspire any fan of games to attend:

“In our day-long event, we will hold a roundtable as well as an arcade. The roundtable will enable attendees to share and learn about experiences as game creators and game players from different backgrounds. At the arcade, you’ll be able to play a selection of incredible games made by people of color. Come encounter some great new perspectives and games!”

But wait, there’s more! If you’re a game developer of color, the Brooklyn Gamery wants to feature your work. You have until December 31st, 2015 to submit your game for review. We hope you decide to reach out, and best of luck to those of you who do!

LongStory

LongStory Episode 4

Early on, we covered the LongStory game both right here and on our YouTube channel. We knew we loved this LGBTQIA+ dating sim from the get-go, and now their lovely team has just released Episode 4 to iOS and Android! You can even play Episode 1 for free just to see whether this is your thing or not (it totally will be, trust us). You have the option of a playable young man, young woman, or nonbinary character, and from there, you can pursue just about any romance! We’re particularly excited about Episode 4, as our very own Aphelion wrote it with the specific intent of including the game’s first transgender character.

If you have any questions or issues that arise while you play, the development team has been extraordinarily accommodating. Send them (a polite) ask on Tumblr and chat with the amazing team bringing LongStory to life!

Project Solace
[Art by Leisha Riddel.]

#PROJECTSOLACE

If you kept an eye on GaymerX this year, you’ll certainly recognize the incredible work of @LeishaRiddel. Not only did she provide illustrations for the event itself, she also led her own panel, “Creating Characters and Stories with Ethnic Dysphoria.” There, she discussed her current work on #PROJECTSOLACE, a feminist graphic novel specifically geared toward empowering teens and young adults as they traverse the often clumsy—and even dangerous—experience of finding their own identity.

You can read more about her initiative here and, if you’re financially able, please consider supporting her Patreon. We desperately need more initiatives like #PROJECTSOLACE, particularly in the gaming industry. With the growing, radical shift across all art mediums that is happening today, it’s our hope that we can shape the same diverse future for games.

Dangerous Ladies

The Dangerous Ladies

Thinking of jumping into the wide world of cosplay, but don’t know how to get started? Thanks to the tip from fellow FemHype crew member @royalheartartwork, we have a truly excellent resource to share with you! The Dangerous Ladies run an active Tumblr account that follows their creative cosplay process. Not only are they thorough in their approach, but they’re also super helpful to any newcomers. Here’s what they have to say about their initiative:

“We “specialize” in two things; collaborative group cosplay and keeping a solid record of our progress and methods. We are committed to being teachers in our community, and advocates for learning, skill building and always challenging yourself.”

They accept ask messages regarding cosplay questions, and they receive everything from attaching armor to a body suit to where one finds textured spandex. We’re not gonna lie: their team makes us want to give cosplaying a whirl!

War Birds

War Birds

In a bit of a departure, but no less important than the rest of the projects on our list, War Birds serves to feature the stories of women who served—and are rarely, if ever depicted—in World War II. Larping meets freeform-style gaming in this anthology, which was recently funded on Kickstarter thanks to the support of 284 interested backers. The description certainly inspires us to roll up our sleeves and prepare for work:

“Designed by an international team of women writers, War Birds presents fun-to-play, easy-to-run games that let you explore exciting stories you might not have heard before: Striking factory workers torn apart by hatred, or women aviators struggling to find sisterhood and freedom in the skies. These games are designed to give you everything you need to know to run or play them—with no research required.”

For a sneak preview and more information regarding War Birds, check out their backer update. We couldn’t be more excited to see what comes of this project! Be sure to follow their Google+ account for more updates.

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